View | Autumn 2010
View is Covenant College's print magazine for alumni, parents, and friends. View's purpose is to: - Encourage alumni, parents, and friends to keep Christ preeminent in all areas of their lives - Give alumni, parents, and friends - our most important ambassadors - stories and information about the College, its students, alumni, faculty, and staff - Provide alumni with an ongoing connection to the Covenant community - Give God's people news about Covenant that will encourage them to praise, thank, and petition our Heavenly Father.
C O V E N A N T C O L L E G E § A U T U M N 2 0 1 0 Lighting Scotland Yard § § § § New Faculty in Art & Business Alumni in the Legal Profession Homecoming 2010 An Alumni Director’s Reflections after Twenty Years from the president AUTUMN 2010 Welcome to another issue of The View! It’s always a delight to share with you some of the people and happenings of Covenant College, for your encouragement and prayer. At the end of Hebrews 12, the writer has just concluded his extended argument for the utter superiority of Jesus Christ and his redeeming work over all other religious persons and pathways – greater than all the angels, than all the prophets, than all the priests, fulfilling a better covenant, offering a perfect sacrifice, bringing his people by his death and resurrection into an eternal kingdom. Given the grandeur of this scriptural display of Christ’s glory, Hebrews 13:7 may come as a bit of a surprise: Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Having exalted Jesus Christ with such exclusive praise, does the writer now undermine the force of his own argument by encouraging his readers to make their spiritual parents the focus of their faith and obedience? Hardly. The writer understands the gracious covenantal blessing of the generations: of one generation by God’s grace faithfully declaring the infinitely superior glories of Jesus Christ to the next, and then by God’s grace displaying the fruit of their faith in the “outcome of their way of life,” so that by God’s grace the rising generation would “imitate their faith” in both word and deed. But this blessing comes not as a display of human glory but as yet one more demonstration of the superior, redeeming glory of Jesus Christ, for as verse 8 puts it, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. THE MAGAZINE OF COVENANT COLLEGE The College of the Presbyterian Church in America Published by the Office of College Communications Editor Jen Allen Designer Tad Evearitt ’98 Contributing Writers Brian Beise, Richard Follett, Marshall Rowe ’87 Contributing Photographers Naomi Belz ’14, Juliet Cangelosi ’14, Nate Carl ’11, Tad Evearitt ’98, Annie Huntington ’13, Garrett Reid ’10, Nathan Ruhl, Maggie Yelton Contact the editor at: Editor, The View Covenant College 14049 Scenic Highway Lookout Mountain, GA 30750 Phone: 706.419.1119 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Letters to the editor are welcome. Send alumni notes to: Alumni Office Covenant College 14049 Scenic Highway Lookout Mountain, GA 30750 Phone: 706.419.1649 E-mail: email@example.com Website: covenant.edu © 2010 Covenant College Articles may be reprinted with permission of the editor. Covenant College complies with federal and state requirements for nondiscrimination on the basis of age, race, color, gender, handicaps, or national or ethnic origin As we celebrate in these pages the blessing of the generations through Covenant College – through alumni faithfully following God’s call in the legal profession and a multitude of other pathways; through our pre-law and master of arts in teaching programs equipping this generation of students for pursuing Christ’s glory; through excellent faculty scholarship that carries forward the long legacy of Christian intellectual endeavor; through campus developments built on the godly foundation of previous generations and intended for the service of future generations – we celebrate the superiority of Jesus Christ, preeminent in all things and in every generation, yesterday and today and forever. in the administration of its policies and programs. May Jesus Christ be praised! • Provide alumni with an ongoing connection to the Covenant community Blessings to you in him – • Give God’s people news about Covenant that will encourage them to praise, thank, and petition our Heavenly Father. Niel Nielson, Ph.D. President View President Nielson’s blog at president.blogs.covenant.edu. Opinions expressed are those of the contributors or the editor, and do not necessarily represent the official position of the College. MISSION STATEMENT The View’s purpose is to: • Encourage alumni, parents, and friends to keep Christ preeminent in all areas of their lives • Give alumni, parents, and friends—our most important ambassadors—stories and information about the College, its students, alumni, faculty, and staff WHAT’S INSIDE 15 8 ON THE COVER Thanks to the support of alumni and friends of the College, Covenant can now host nighttime soccer games under the newly installed lights of Scotland Yard. This year marked Covenant’s first homecoming game to take place after dark. See photos of that game and the fireworks that followed on pages 15-17. 4 ScotStuff 8 Nothing But the Truth 18 A roundup of recent Covenant news and events, including the installation of two faculty members, a Fulbright award given to a recent alumnus, and several new books by faculty authors. Karissa Case Taylor ’96 prosecutes violent gang members in Washington, pursuing truth in every circumstance. 10 Continued Strength 12 Preserving the Gospel 14 Faculty View 15 Homecoming 2010 18 What Sets Covenant Apart 20 Alumni News Among the first Covenant alumni to go into law, David Hawley ’70 has spent decades at the same firm, focusing on people over cases and seeing clients become lifetime friends. Jonathan Mullen ’99 practices transactional law, striving to preserve the gospel in his work. Pre-law advisor Dr. Richard Follett discusses the program’s goals and alumni. See photos of homecoming weekend events and read about the alumni-of-the-year award recipients. Director of alumni relations Marshall Rowe ’87 reflects on twenty years with Covenant’s unique alumni. Updates and pictures contributed by alumni. AUTUMN 2010 § COVENANT COLLEGE § THE VIEW 3 SCOT STUFF In April, the College hosted a celebration of God’s provision to Covenant through the BUILD campaign. As we celebrate, we look ahead to new goals: the original five-year campaign has been extended for three more years, and the original goal of $31 million expanded to $53 million. Through God’s providence, friends of Covenant have given $48 million during the campaign. John W. Sanderson Award Given to Professor Stephen Kaufmann Professor Kelly Kapic and Justin Borger ’06 Co-Author Book The fall of 2010 saw the release of God So Loved, He Gave, written by Dr. Kelly Kapic, professor of theological studies. One of the things that is so exciting about this book, says Dr. Kapic, is that he was able to work with his former student Justin Borger ’06. Published by Zondervan, the book explores the whole Christian story through the lens of “gift.” With such features as discussion questions for each chapter and occasional personal stories, God So Loved, He Gave is written with a general audience in mind, a fact that sets it apart from Kapic’s previous books. “This was the hardest book I’ve written,” he says. “You can’t help but look at yourself and realize you’re falling short. The gospel asks that we give, and by giving, we die. But in dying, we live. It’s subtle. It’s different.” Borger agrees, noting that “there’s a real contradiction between that narrative and the narrative that’s so common in secular culture, and even in the church, if we’re honest.” President Niel Nielson presented the John W. Sanderson Award to Professor of Education Stephen Kaufmann at Covenant’s 55th annual commencement on May 8, 2010. The John W. Sanderson Award is given biannually to a faculty member who exemplifies the spirit of gracious Christian scholarship, which was characteristic of Dr. Sanderson. Dr. Stephen Kaufmann receives the Sanderson Award at commencement. Dr. Kaufmann has contributed in significant ways to Covenant’s core educational program and the development of the education department. In addition to his on-campus teaching and leadership, he has led multiple student trips to Eastern Europe and to New York City. 4 THE VIEW § COVENANT COLLEGE § AUTUMN 2010 Kapic and Borger hope the book will not only challenge readers, but also be a great encouragement to readers as they soak in God’s stunning grace. Rather than emphasizing one branch of giving, God So Loved, He Gave addresses the numerous ways Christians should give, letting God’s love flow through them. “All of this fits together,” says Kapic. “What fits it together is who God is.” Covenant To Offer Master of Arts in Teaching June 2011 will mark the beginning of Covenant’s master of arts in teaching (M.A.T.) program. This new program comes alongside the master of education (M.Ed.) program, begun in 1991. Dr. Jim Drexler, dean of the social sciences and the M.Ed. program, notes that the two master’s programs exist for two different audiences. “The M.Ed. does not lead to teacher certification,” he says; “it’s for teachers and administrators already working in schools, coming for advanced graduate work.” The M.A.T., however, will be for students not certified as teachers, “who already have the content knowledge of their discipline through their undergraduate work, and then they come and do the one-year M.A.T. with us, doing all of the professional education courses that lead to certification.” SCOT STUFF The program is pending approval of the Georgia Professional Standards Committee and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Seth Morgan ’09 Is Fourth Alumnus in Six Years To Receive a Fulbright Grant Seth Morgan ’09 received a Fulbright grant to work for a year in Tajikistan, where he is undertaking an English teaching assistantship for the 20102011 academic year. Having completed a student internship in the Dominican Republic and, after graduating, having taught English as a second language and helped people of various cultures and backgrounds find jobs, Seth has experience adapting to new forms of service. Working with students in Tajikistan is different, but “totally consistent with his trajectory,” says Professor Russell Mask, Covenant’s Fulbright program advisor. “Every Seth Morgan ‘09 person that gets a Fulbright is supposed to be kind of an ambassador. They’ve demonstrated they care about people.” Seth believes Covenant prepared him well for international work. “At Covenant I was able to learn a lot about learning. The community development major is less a set of technical skills than a worldview amplification, a preparation to see the world through the lens of combating poverty in the developing world.” Seth is the fourth Covenant graduate in six years to be awarded a grant from the Fulbright program, supported by the U.S. Department of State. Ben Borger ’04 went to the Philippines, Gabi Van Schoyck ’08 to Hong Kong, and Liz Tubergen ’08 to Iceland, all through Fulbright grants. Theatre Department Presents The Learned Ladies Involving students in the wider academic community is a vital part of Covenant’s sociology department, says Dr. Chiareli. “We are a close-knit department. Our goal is to give students the experience of doing scholarly work and presenting that work professionally. “ACTS is the most active association of Christian sociologists in the country,” adds Dr. Chiareli, who served two years as president. Dr. Vos is currently vice president of the association, which was founded in 1976 by the late Professor Russell Heddendorf. This fall the Department of Theatre and Film Studies presented six performances of The Learned Ladies, directed by Professor Claire Slavovsky. Marc Erickson Named Executive Director of Covenant College Foundation Students perform in this fall’s production of The Learned Ladies. Visit covenant.edu/theatre for information on upcoming productions, including February performances of Doubt, A Parable. Marc Erickson ’92 has been named executive director of the Covenant College Foundation and director of planned giving. He continues the work of Frank Marc Erickson ‘92 Brock, who retires as president of the foundation at the end of 2010. Bruce Williams, chairman of the advancement committee of Covenant’s board of trustees and chairman of the board for the Covenant College Foundation, said that Erickson stood out immediately among the many candidates: “He can tell you directly how Covenant impacted him and his family. He understands the uniqueness of Covenant and its mission, the impact it has on lives and the role it can play in God’s kingdom.” Marc’s focus is on assisting people who want to make charitable gifts through their wills and estates. If you would like to learn more about planned giving, you can reach Marc at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706.419.1645. Sociology Professors and Students Present Papers at National Conference Recent graduates Caleb Mask ’10 and Adrienne Saxon ’10 joined Professors Matt Vos ’90 and Toni Chiareli at the 2010 Association of Christians Teaching Sociology (ACTS) Conference, where all four presented papers. Dr. Toni Chiareli, Caleb Mask ’10, Adrienne Saxon ’10, and Dr. Matt Vos ’90 each presented sociology research at a recent conference. “It was very encouraging to know that I had produced work which was accepted by higher authorities within my discipline,” says Caleb. “Going to the ACTS Conference was definitely the climax of my college career as a sociology student.” AUTUMN 2010 § COVENANT COLLEGE § THE VIEW 5 go Figure 318 New students this fall 51 Percentage of the class of 2014 that is male 52 Percentage of the class of 2014 from churches in the Presbyterian Church in America 28 Covenant College trustees 80 Students who were volunteers at the PCA Global Missions Conference 1 Actor in the production of Watchmen for the Morning 450 Pounds of kitchen waste deposited in Covenant’s compost pile each month 47 Chapel services in the fall semester 1956 Graduating class with the highest percentage of members who gave to Covenant last year Professors Ron Jones ’78 (left) and Ken McElrath (right) were formally installed by President Nielson as members of the Covenant College faculty at convocation. Two New Professors Join Covenant Faculty Two new faculty members, Professors Ron Jones ’78 and Ken McElrath, were installed during this fall’s convocation ceremony. Professor Jones joined the business department, bringing expertise in marketing. A deacon in his home church, he has a master of accountancy, four years of recent doctoral studies toward a PhD in marketing education, a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies from Covenant, and over 25 years of experience in the financial sector. He has much to say about being in but not of the world. “People may incorrectly correlate marketing with manipulation. I want my students to know that, while marketing involves a study of human and producer behaviors, it need not result in some clever psychological technique to manipulate someone into something they do not need or want.” The College has increased opportunities for studies in digital arts, drawing upon Professor McElrath’s extensive experience in business, design, photography, and digital tools. He explains that designers must enter into the world of the people experiencing the problem at hand, empathizing with them and applying creativity to develop solutions. He hopes to alter students’ thinking about their craft, thinking about creativity as an act of love. Art students have a significant advantage studying the liberal arts at Covenant, he says, as opposed to pursuing a more narrowly tailored bachelor’s in fine arts. In his experience, artists without a liberal arts foundation often fall short when applying their skills to real-world situations. “People come to Covenant to teach because they passionately believe that we have to apply our calling in an interdisciplinary way if we’re going to have a serious influence on this culture. Exising in silos is not going to work.” Covenant Transfers Quest Program to Belhaven University Desiring to assure the needs of adult students are met with academically rigorous and biblically grounded education, Covenant arranged for Belhaven University to take leadership of the Quest program as of July 1, 2010. Both Covenant and Belhaven are members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Covenant’s other adult degreecompletion program, the bachelor of science in early childhood education (BSECE) program, is separate from and not affected by this change. The BSECE program continues to enroll SCOT STUFF new cohorts for courses at our Lookout Mountain campus. At Homecoming this fall, the Covenant soccer family came onto the field at halftime of the men’s varsity Corey Mullins New Lady Scots Basketball Coach Corey Mullins, former women’s assistant coach at Bryan College and head men’s coach at both Boyce College and Kentucky Christian Coach Corey Mullins University, has been hired to lead Covenant’s women’s basketball team beginning this season. As the team’s third head coach in as many years, Mullins looks to improve on last year’s record. The 2010-2011 basketball season is now underway. Visit covenant.edu/ athletics for schedules and game recaps. Book by Professor Scott Jones Analyzing Job 28 Published Rumors of Wisdom: Job 28 as Poetry by Professor Scott Jones has been published by Walter de Gruyter. The book offers a new reading of the poem, with new insight into its chief metaphor. Dr. Jones hopes it will demonstrate the value of approaching poems in the Bible as whole and complete works. “Hopefully the book will show that it is indeed a profitable task,” says Jones. “It can be very useful for biblical exegesis.” Professor Camille Hallstrom Gives Solo Performance of Watchmen for the Morning In October, the Department of Theatre and Film Studies presented Professor Camille Hallstrom’s one-woman show, Watchmen for the Morning. game for a celebration of the new lights, which were made possible by gifts from many alumni and friends. Said head men’s soccer coach Nathan Pifer, “The lights on Scotland Yard have been a blessing. It has al- lowed for a bigger fan turnout, including people in our community, and Professor Hallstrom wrote and performed a portrayal of Katie von Bora, the wife of Martin Luther. has certainly boosted recruiting. I am thankful for all the support from the alumni and administration for provid- Written and performed by Professor Hallstrom, Watchmen chronicles the colorful life of Katie von Bora and her husband, the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther. Visit covenant.edu/theatre for information on this and future productions. ing us with a state-of-the-art playing field.” The Late Prof. Heddendorf’s Book Republished with New Chapter by Professor Vos University Press of America has Forbes and U.S. News & World Report Recognize Covenant published a second edition of the late Professor Russell Heddendorf’s book, Forbes ranked Covenant 179th in the nation in its 2010 list of America’s Best Colleges. The rankings include 610 of the approximately 6,600 institutions of higher education in the U.S. In addition, U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 Best Colleges issue again ranked Covenant near the top in several categories, most notably sixth in the South among Best Regional Colleges and tenth in the South in Great Schools, Great Prices. “Of course we don’t turn our focus toward achieving such commendations,” says President Nielson, “but we’re always grateful when we get this kind of notice.” Hidden Threads: A Christian Critique of Sociological Theory, with a new chapter written by Professor Matt Vos ’90 and a new cover featuring “Red Field-Seeding,” painted by Professor Jeff Morton. In releasing this new edition, Dr. Vos hopes it will inspire students to read the primary texts of sociology for themselves, searching throughout for hidden threads of Scripture. “The Scotland Yard Lights Project Reaches Completion common idea is that Scripture helps A project roughly four years in the making reached its completion this summer with the installation of field lights at Scotland Yard. This season, for the first time in the College’s history, the Scots and Lady Scots can play nighttime soccer games at home. says, “but what we find about the so- AUTUMN 2010 us understand the social world,” he cial world can help us understand the Scriptures too.” § COVENANT COLLEGE § THE VIEW 7 by Brian Beise K a r i s s a C a s e Taylor ’96 began her first trial with confidence. A law student interning at King County’s district attorney’s (DA) office, she prepared a sound case against a drunk driver but was out-maneuvered by the defense attorney. She lost the case, and knew immediately she wanted to be a prosecutor. Though she entered law school intending to go into politics, she knew she could come back to cases like that and see justice carried out. Nine years into her career in that same DA’s office, she is familiar with the complications and challenges of the work. Having been raised by parents who followed Christ, Karissa is no stranger to balancing her ability to convince with her love for others and respect for truth. Long before that trial, Karissa decided on law as her future. “Growing up, I was a pretty talkative, argumentative little girl,” says Karissa. “I remember my grandfather telling me at age four that I was going to become an attorney because I was very interested in convincing people of the rightness of my opinion. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I really was that weird kid.” Having been raised by parents who followed Christ, 8 THE VIEW § COVENANT COLLEGE “I have a very cynical understanding of human nature, but it also gives me a sense of compassion that makes my faith deeper. I look at these criminals, and I think they don’t have Jesus and they don’t have forgiveness and that’s their only hope.” - Karissa Case Taylor ’96 Karissa is no stranger to balancing her ability to convince with her love for others and respect for truth. As an assistant DA, she prosecutes violent gang offenders in Seattle. “It’s the coolest job on earth,” she says, and freely admits the difficulties of the profession, citing frightened and uncooperative witnesses and victims. Much of her work leading to trial is done with the police, piecing cases together through investigation and interviews. Karissa’s husband is also an attorney, one she met before law school, while working as a paralegal. They recently adopted a four-month-old child. Karissa grew up in Seattle, and initially had no intention of choosing Covenant for her undergraduate studies. Covenant’s pre-law program was not yet in place, and neither was the philosophy major. Her father had graduated from Covenant Seminary, though, and drove Karissa to visit Covenant’s campus. “I stepped out of the car, turned to my parents and said, ‘This is where I am supposed to go.’” She majored in interdisciplinary studies with a heavy concentration in philosophy, and notes the reading and writing skills she acquired, along with the ability to think critically, were vital as she pursued a career of seeking truth in stories of fear and deceit. “I deal everyday with original sin,” says Karissa. “I have a very cynical understanding of human nature, but it also gives me a sense of compassion that makes my faith deeper. I look at these criminals, and I think they don’t have Jesus and they don’t have forgiveness and that’s their only hope. So it gives me a greater understanding of mercy and grace and how those play such an important role in my own life.” Karissa is committed to pursuing justice. She remembers that first trial, seeing the drunk driver go unpunished because of the skills of his attorney. “I wanted to get better and never lose like that again,” she says. In her years at the DA’s office, however, she has made difficult decisions, prioritizing justice even over the satisfaction of victims. “I did a rotation where I dealt with sexual crimes against children,” she says. “One of the cases was a man charged with molesting his girlfriend’s daughter. She’d clearly been abused; there was no question about that, but AUTUMN 2010 I did months and months of interviews with everyone involved, and at the end of that time I sat down with my boss and said, ‘I believe she was molested; I just don’t think he did it.” Her office dropped the case. It is likely Karissa saved an innocent man from conviction, but to this day, no charges have been filed for the violence against the girl. It must weigh on the child and her family that her attacker might never be convicted. Some prosecutors might have pursued the case against the mother’s boyfriend, despite their misgivings, all for the sake of gaining a conviction and providing closure for the victim. Not so with K a r issa or her coworkers. “I love representing victims’ interests and seeing them made whole, keeping the community safe,” she says, and some might expect her to bemoan the sadness and unfairness of her position, pursuing justice even if it disappoints victims, but Karissa thrives in that place. She makes it clear that her primary goal is not simply to work for convictions, but to seek the truth and with God’s help convince others to believe it. § COVENANT COLLEGE § THE VIEW 9 continued str hen David Hawley ’70 that was probably the thing for me.” finished high school he When people ask him why he became a was not at all sure he lawyer, however, he often jokes, “out of wanted to go to college. His mother self protection.” insisted he try it for at least a year, After graduating from law school, however, so he found his way to David joined Duggan and McDonald, Covenant. College suited him after all, and he stayed all four years before going on to “I went downtown and law school. went from door to door to see Though his mother if someone would let me sit thought he should be a lawyer, it was not until near the end in and see what lawyers do. of his time at Covenant that I spent my senior year going David began to seriously consider the possibility. “I to the courthouse and decided realized I didn’t really know that was probably the what lawyers did,” says David, though he imagined such thing for me.” a profession might suit his history major and philosophy minor. “So I went downtown and went one of the firms whose trials he from door to door to see if someone observed while in school. He practiced would let me sit in and see what with them for decades and eventually lawyers do. I spent my senior year inherited the firm. going to the courthouse and decided Early in his career, David was 10 THE VIEW § COVENANT COLLEGE § AUTUMN 2010 occasionally appointed to represent defendants who could not afford an attorney. This was before the creation of the public defender’s office, which David was against from the start. “I think we’ve been proven right on this. You can get into all kinds of potential conflicts of interest when all the defenders are in one office. Let’s say you’ve got two guys that rob a bank. One of them might testify against the other, or their stories might be different. You end up in a situation where the public defender’s office can only do so much. Guys like us end up getting appointed anyway.” In recent years, David’s specialty has been oriented toward real estate. For a number of years he was an attorney for a title company, defending real estate and insurance agents. “I do wills and estates, property line disputes, lots of things related to real estate.” He has also been the attorney for “It’s one thing to look at the legal issues. It’s another thing to deal with people. That’s where the idea of integration really comes in. Some of my best clients are also my best friends.“ - David Hawley ’70 rength Chattanooga Christian School since it was founded more than thirty years ago. “That entails a lot of different things,” says David, “the corporate status of the school, personnel issues, disciplinary matters with students, buying property, construction, consent forms, and everything else down to contracts to buy copy machines.” When David’s son Patrick was trying to choose a college, he happened to attend a party where he met many Covenant students. “He reported that it was the first time in a long while that he had an intelligent conversation,” says David. “With my encouragement and help we went online and applied. Patrick graduated magna cum laude in 2005 as an art major. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2009 and is now practicing with the firm of Fleissner, Davis and Johnson. John Huisman ’98 works at the firm as well and was instrumental in helping Patrick get his position.” by Brian Beise “My hope is that I can continue to help folks as God gives me continued strength.” David remembers his years at Covenant as vital preparation for his life as a Christian and a lawyer. “I was at Covenant when many Christians, including some at Covenant, found it hard to see how a Christian could be a lawyer. Some like Nick Barker were a tremendous encouragement to take what was taught into every sphere including law. I think I was the second graduate to go into law.” David notes that integration of faith and vocation is double-edged. Faith clarifies vocation and vice versa. He is a better lawyer for his faith and says he sees God’s kingdom at work through being a lawyer. When he speaks about his profession and life, the results of that integration become evident. He notes that many view law as simply a AUTUMN 2010 business, all numbers and stratagems. “The way I came up, I learned from people … who saw it as a profession, as dealing with people. So when you’re dealing with someone, take a real estate agent who’s being sued, that man’s scared to death. My clients may have all kinds of things going on in their lives. “So it’s one thing to look at the legal issues. It’s another thing to deal with people. That’s where the idea of integration really comes in. Some of my best clients are also my best friends. I had one client whose mother died on Christmas Eve and I was the person he called, and I went out and sat with him. My hope is that I can continue to help folks as God gives me continued strength.” § COVENANT COLLEGE § THE VIEW 11 Preserving the Gospel by Brian Beise onathan Mullen ’99 is an attorney with Finger & Fraser in the lowcountry town of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, where he practices primarily transactional law. This includes business transactions, some areas of municipal law, and what is known as “dirt law”: representing developers, buyers and sellers of real estate. Among the firm’s clients is the town of Bluffton, a neighbor of Hilton Head Island. Jonathan is aware of his work representing more than just himself. He sees trust and reputation as vital, and knows a decade’s work can be torn down in an hour. He seeks to accomplish the ends dictated by his clients without straying from the values of his faith. Jonathan majored in history at Covenant, with Professor Paul Morton as his advisor. His appreciation for America’s law-writing history and process led quickly to an interest in law school. This was before Covenant’s pre-law program was created, so Jonathan transferred to James Madison University. “I started out at Covenant, transferred over to JMU, and then transferred back,” he says. “It was a strange road, but ultimately I decided Covenant was where I needed to be.” It was after this second transfer, back to Covenant, that he met his future wife, Rachel Powell ’00. He finished his degree in history and went on to earn his law degree in 2003 from Regent University. Although his intentions had been to enter politics, perhaps eventually becoming a lawmaker, he found that transactional business was something he was good at and consistently enjoyed. He has thrown himself into that area of law but keeps an open mind about the future. Recalling his year teaching in France just after leaving Covenant, Jonathan muses: “I’m flexible to whatever the Lord’s got for me. Having said that, I don’t see any reason why I should leave this firm at this point in my career.” On his work for Bluffton, Jonathan expresses care and a desire for integrity. “We derive our goals for the client 12 THE VIEW § COVENANT COLLEGE § AUTUMN 2010 “My profession is one that’s not insulated from the world or daily struggles and issues that arise. In every interaction with staff, other attorneys and clients, I have to protect the reputation of the gospel.” - Jonathan Mullen ’99 Jonathan ’99 and Rachel Powell Mullen ’00 live in Hilton Head, South Carolina, with their children, Elisabeth (4) and Andrew (1). based on the client’s needs and desires,” he says. “One thing I personally try to do is make sure we do things the right way, and make sure we don’t take short cuts. We’re being comprehensive in the work we do for them, setting a good precedent of agreements involving the town, and making sure the laws we get on the books are sustainable and appropriate.” Noting the high character and good reputation of the firm owners, Finger and Fraser, he continues: “As a believer, I take a slightly different tack at times, but we often end up in the same place.” The real difficulties for Jonathan come when a client loses sight of their original goal and goes for blood. “The classic example is in a business ‘divorce’,” says Jonathan. “Much like a marriage divorce, these are often very messy, and personal feelings become a big part of the decisionmaking process for clients. This is understandable, but many times it becomes so personal that the goal morphs into the financial ruin of the former business partner. One minute it is a relatively simple business breakup and the next minute it is a real mess driven by bitter feelings.” Jonathan recalls going to court to enforce a settlement agreement on a business breakup. “It was a slam-dunk case, and we received what we were due under the terms of the agreement.” His clients were not satisfied, however, and wanted to push the case further, damaging the other side as much as possible. Jonathan has found that often this leads to a difficult conversation with his clients, in which he advises them against heading down a destructive road. If a client persists, he lets them know he will reconsider representing them. “I strive to make it clear I am concerned about them and their interests, but I am not willing to sacrifice integrity in my profession for a possible win through their destructive decisions.” Through all this, Jonathan thinks of the gospel. He advises as best he can, and sometimes is unable to go down the path his client chooses. “I’ve had to step away from a theoretical side of the faith, and I’ve seen how it applies in life,” he says. “My profession is one that’s not insulated from the world or daily struggles and issues that arise. In every interaction with staff, other attorneys and clients, I have to protect the reputation of the gospel as it is displayed in my own life.” While he is intentional about maintaining his professional reputation and gospel witness, Jonathan also feels it is important to allow his clients to see his shortcomings. “There are a lot of people who just try to cover their tracks. You’ve got to show humility and be able to admit you’re wrong and move on from there and make it right. In my profession, there can be a lot of big egos. Although I strive for excellence in my practice, I do not want my pride to shroud the gospel in my life.” He goes on to describe his professional goals for the foreseeable future: continue to find ways to improve his practice, and do good work at home and at work. AUTUMN 2010 § COVENANT COLLEGE § THE VIEW 13 FA C U LT Y V I E W “Many of our students have wanted to enter law for purposes of service as well as to have a prosperous career; I like to point out to them that it is no sin to ‘have a career,’ but I am pleased that they have understood that legal practice does, and should have, a public service dimension.” Pre-Law Advising HE WAS A RECENT COVENANT GRADUATE who had been in a handful of my classes, and had worked for two years in a congressional office when he decided to try his hand at law school. I already had great respect for his academic ability, and the combination of work experience, by Dr. Richard Follett, professor of history and pre-law advisor strong grades, and a good LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) score had gained him acceptance to a handful of have understood that legal practice does, and should have, a prestigious law schools. Our conversation was about how public service dimension. It can be, therefore, an extremely to choose among them. We talked about the implications good place for Christians with the right gifts and maturity of attending a prestigious school, acquiring a large debt, to serve. As one of our alumni has put it, the career opportunities at the end, and the challenges of having a family when your first job might entail 80+ hours of work each week (which is often the case for new associates at the big law firms around the country). We discussed all of this within the context of our commitment to Christ and His kingdom, a privilege and responsibility that I find most useful in helping students sort the priorities of law school, life, and other career options. maintain civility in a broken, fallen world (i.e., to restrain sinners as they duke it out over this or that trespass or potential trespass). Although the nature of the sin varies by area of practice, lawyers must advise folks in the midst of their greed and selfishness every day. It isn’t always pretty but it’s hard to think of a better place for a Christian with a heart and mind for Since 2003 I have served the Covenant College community redeeming the day-to-day workings of our culture.” as pre-law advisor. In that time I have seen two to four Rachel Gleason George ’00, Emory University graduating seniors each year apply to law school, and often an equal number of recent graduates applying at the same time. Our success rate among students we have worked with has been very high, in part because our liberal arts program gives them all a good background, but also because we bring them a realistic understanding of the skills needed and the expectations they should have before applying to any given law school. Many of our students have wanted to enter law for purposes of service as well as to have a prosperous career; I like to point out to them that it is no sin to “have a career,” but I am pleased that they 14 “One of the primary purposes of lawyers is to help THE VIEW § COVENANT COLLEGE § AUTUMN 2010 School of Law ’03 With these considerations in mind, the goal of pre-law at Covenant is to help prepare students for law school, assist in the admissions process, and provide the education that will help them succeed once they have entered the practice of law. To learn more about Covenant’s pre-law program, visit covenant.edu/pre-law or contact Dr. Richard Follett at email@example.com. H O M E C O M I N G 1. The Covenant soccer family celebrating the new lights at halftime of the Scots’ 5-1 win 2. Burning at the Stage 3. The victorious alumni soccer team 4. Jazz on the Overlook 2 010 5. Steve Smallman ‘85 “bringing it” in the homecoming chapel 6. Enthusiastic Scots fans 7. The victorious Lady Scots soccer team 8. Classes of the ‘60s and ‘70s 9. Cyclists in the 30-mile bike ride 10. Alumni basketball 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 AUTUMN 2010 9 § COVENANT COLLEGE § THE VIEW 15 10 Pleasant weather only added to the excitement of homecoming weekend. Alumni from across the decades reunited with former classmates and professors over breakfast, cheered on the Scots and Lady Scots under the new lights of Scotland Yard, enjoyed fireworks, watched Covenant’s production of The Learned Ladies, and danced the night away at Jazz on the Overlook. An alumni basketball game and a 30-mile bike ride were added to the mix of traditional events. Even if you missed this year, you can mark your calendar for next year: October 7-8, 2011. 16 THE VIEW § COVENANT COLLEGE § AUTUMN 2010 a lu m n i of t he ye a r Alumna of the Year: Rebecca Painter Rebecca Brewer Painter ’94 received her nursing degree at Johns Hopkins University and worked in their adult-care facility. It was then she began telling prospective students about Covenant and encouraging others to give to the College. She has been instrumental in many College projects, including spearheading the first weaving of the Covenant tartan in Scotland and the outfitting of our Pipe and Drum Corps. She and her husband, Rob, have five children. Rebecca tirelessly supports Covenant, with gifts of resources, time, talent and prayer. Volunteer of the Year: Wendy Strassner Allison Wendy Strassner Allison ’78 and her husband, Brad, senior pastor of Altadena Valley Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, have three children who have all attended Covenant. Wendy consistently encourages other students to visit and attend the College. She hosts numerous events for Covenant in her home, and heads up the Birmingham Wilberforce Scholarship regional committee, raising money for students from the Birmingham area to attend Covenant. Young Alumnus of the Year: Andrew Strickenburg Immediately after graduation, Andrew Strickenburg ’07 started work at Southern Champion Tray, a company manufacturing boxes and other paper products for food items. In two years, Andrew rose to a supervisory role, overseeing over 200 employees. Andrew has hosted the Chattanooga Alumni Leadership Council and was a founding member of the young alumni committee. He is studying at William and Mary and will return to Southern Champion Tray upon completion of his MBA. Andrew is married to Elizabeth Morrow Strickenburg ’08. AUTUMN 2010 § COVENANT COLLEGE § THE VIEW 17 What Sets Covenant Apart Director of alumni relations Marshall Rowe ’87 reflects on twenty years with Covenant’s unique alumni. W hen I considered leaving banking for a position at Covenant, my father told me that whatever line of work I chose, I was going to sell something. Though I found that a bit odd coming from an English teacher, I realized later he always felt he had to sell Shakespeare to his students. For twenty years now, I’ve worked as Covenant’s director of alumni relations. Fortunately for me, Covenant, like Shakespeare, is not hard to sell. Our alumni demonstrate the school’s mission through their creativity, truly significant work, and love and care for their neighbors. One distinctive of Covenant is the way it prepares you for a life full of change. Every field seems to change rapidly, and Covenant alumni are equipped to adapt and create new solutions. Jim Grauley ’82 worked in the community development department at Bank of America, rehabilitating entire neighborhoods to provide housing for low-income residents. He now works on a $120 million project in New Orleans to help locals rebuild their lives after Hurricane Katrina. Beth Ann Zeller ’83 18 THE VIEW § COVENANT COLLEGE homeschools her 11 kids and raises goats. I doubt she came to Covenant expecting such a life, in which she would one day defend one of her goats against a 400-pound bear while her husband was off teaching seminar y classes. I myself lef t a budding career in Florida to move to Lookout Mountain and take on a position at my alma mater. Our alumni address the changing world in thoughtful ways, consistent in their values and creative in their vocations. Breadth is not the only strength of this Covenant education. Our alumni also show depth and expertise in their fields. After twenty years of prosecuting federal criminals, Charysse Alexander ’82 is executive assistant U.S. attorney for the northern district of Georgia. A mong other things, she draf ts cr imina l policy and guidance for federal prosecutions and helps train junior assistant U.S. attorneys. Derek Halvorson ’93 is president of Providence Christian College in Pasadena, California, providing vision and oversight for the young school. March Bell ’78 led a team of 400 police officers who shut down more than 50 brothels in a flurry of raids, freeing § AUTUMN 2010 150 women and children from that horrific industry. Rob Turner ’89 flies the FA/18 Hornet for the Navy, serving as the point man for more than 6,000 sailors in his armada. Beyond their professional excellence and ability to create and adapt, Covenant alumni fervently love the people around them. When I visited the aircraft carrier, Rob greeted over half the sailors we met by name and knew the personal lives of all the guys who worked on his plane. I remember Jim speaking about his work on lowincome housing, saying “What ministry could I join where I would have $200 million to spend on helping the poor?” March speaks with passion about redeeming the lives of the women and “Covenant alumni are not satisfied just making a living. They live out their callings all over the world, being used by God as he redeems all things.” - Marshall Rowe ’87 Rob Turner ’89 Beth Ann Zeller ’83 and family children that he has saved from human trafficking. Beth Ann dedicates herself to raising and educating her children. These alumni are not satisfied just making a living. They live out their callings all over the world, being used by God as he redeems all things. With two prep-school teachers for parents, I have always seen education as a high priority in life. While traveling on Charysse Alexander ’82 Jim Grauley ’82 vacations, we used to visit colleges so my parents would have an idea of the kinds of places they might want to encourage their students to attend. I visited 35 colleges before I came to see Covenant. Years later, when I took my current position, I remembered all the other colleges I had seen and was reminded of the unique quality of Covenant. It’s difficult deciding which alumni to AUTUMN 2010 talk about in these few paragraphs. There are so many wonderful friends of Covenant living out extraordinary callings, from parents to attorneys to teachers to musicians to entrepreneurs. For these twenty years, it’s been a joy seeing the ways our alumni develop and seek to be used by God. I look forward to meeting more alumni in the next twenty years. § COVENANT COLLEGE § THE VIEW 19 Covenant College 14049 Scenic Highway Lookout Mountain, GA 30750 888.451.2683 firstname.lastname@example.org covenant.edu NON PROFIT ORG. U . S . P O S TA G E P A I D CHATTANOOGA, TN PERMIT NO. 836 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED “Genesis Cloth” by Berenice Kuiper Rarig ’77 Berenice Kuiper Rarig ’77 made “Genesis Cloth” from the entire book of Genesis, taken from her husband’s 1863 family Bible and fused with scarlet thread. “It’s 100% readable, which is vital,” says Berenice, who wanted to bring the word of God to people who instantly close their ears to Scripture when it is in more traditional formats, such as a bound book. She recalls showing the finished work to an artist who would never otherwise read Scripture, but admitted she longed to read every word of “Genesis Cloth.” “Postmodern art is more about the idea than the image. For us, of course, Jesus and the Gospel is the greatest idea ever,” Berenice says. Serving as church-planters in Perth, Australia, Berenice and her husband Stephen ’79 strive to learn the cultural language of those around them, to go among the people rather than building walled enclaves of Christianity. Berenice’s art is made in that same spirit. “My work is for my neighbor,” she says. “Neighbor used to mean anyone in the world that’s not you. Now, it tends to mean someone across the street that’s exactly like you. My work is for the other, for my neighbor. What matters to them, matters to me.”